The Gambling Cognitions Inventory: Scale development and psychometric validation with problem and pathological gamblers

Abstract

Cognitive distortions are typically identified as an important etiological factor in pathological gambling. The Gambling Cognitions Inventory (GCI) developed by Holub (2003) is examined in this study using a sample of 710 pathological gamblers collected in four Canadian studies. Confirmatory factor analysis did not support the initial 40-item scale and suggested a 33-item scale. The sample was split into two groups to conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Scree plots and parallel analysis suggested a two-factor scale. The scale developed by exploratory factor analysis on the first sample was supported by confirmatory factor analysis on the second sample (CFI>0.95; RMSEA < 0.05). The two factors indicated a Skill and Attitude subscale and a Luck and Chance subscale. Analysis conducted within each of the four studies showed good internal reliability for the scale (range of α = 0.91–0.95) and subscales (α = 0.77–0.92). The scale and subscales correlated with gambling severity measures as well as other measures of gambling cognitions including the Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Scale and the Gambling Beliefs Questionnaire. The results of the study indicate that the GCI is a psychometrically strong scale and may be beneficial in directing cognitive therapy to the most problematic cognitions.

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